I am off to see my grandfather this morning, but I wanted to say a quick few words before I go.
We all live in different places in the world, we have different incomes, we’ve attained different levels of sustainability, we’re at different points on the path toward sustainability, some of us have large families others have small, some of us have cats that stand on the keyboard so that w3e can’qt typpppe, others have children that do the same. We come from different backgrounds and we live under different governments. But one thing we all have in common is our desire to live the most sustainable life we can.
And how we live that sustainable life depends on all these factors and more.
I live in a small apartment that is easy to cool in the summer and heat in the winter. Our spatial impact on the planet is small. In our densely populated area, I can walk nearly everywhere, and when I can’t walk, I can take the bus. And if I can’t take the bus, generally everything is a short drive or bike ride away. We drive just 15-20 miles/week on average.
But we can’t have a solar cooker, because we have no outdoor space and we have a northern exposure. We can’t put solar panels on the house, nor use passive solar on the water heater. Because even if we could afford those things, we live in a cloudy northern climate and we share our water heater with several of our neighbors.
While we have a fire escape garden and a family allotment, we can’t produce most of our food as we did in the country, so we buy much of our food at the farmer’s market. Fortunately when we do that, we’re supporting our local economy and the local organic farmers that could use all the support they can get right now.
I rely on petroleum-powered pharmaceuticals to survive my chronic asthma. But I don’t eat meat nor processed foods, I don’t use plastic or paper, I’m making my own shampoo, I live as locally as I can, and I’m working on a whole lot of other changes like attending my neighborhood sustainability meeting for the first time the other night. Slowly but steadily, in a continuous process, my lifestyle is becoming more sustainable.
I’m sure your life and your life circumstances are different than mine. What works for me in my circumstances may not always work for you in yours, and the same is true in the reverse. But what is great is that we have these different perspectives, we are all at different levels in this process, and we are all good at some things but not so good at others. So together we meet here and give one another input, suggestions, encouragement, and light an extra fire under our behind when we need it.
As we meander our way through this process, please let’s each of us remember that we are all here for the same reason, though we come from different directions. Let’s support one another as much as we can at One Green Generation, around the blogosphere, and in our cities and towns – we are all in this quest and on this planet together.
One final note: those who are not as far along on this path need our nurturing and encouragement. This week, if you see someone who is not as far along the path – here, on another blog, or in your neighborhood – and they seem like they need some encouragement or support, offer it to them. They may not understand something about gardening or local food systems or body products or public transportation. I challenge you to put aside your judgments and help them, support them, show them your kindness and knowledge without confrontation. Because that is one of the ways we are going to save this planet: one on one, person to person, supporting one another.